City Manager

Ronda Perez, Interim City Manager

Ronda Perez joined the City in October 2021. Prior to joining the Palmdale team, she served as executive director of Antelope Valley Economic Development and Growth Enterprise (AV EDGE) from 2020-2021, and assistant city manager and Parks, Recreation & Arts director for the City of Lancaster. She has extensive experience in capital project management, landscape maintenance, park development, program creation and implementation, special events, entrepreneurial ventures, strategic planning, communications, code enforcement, housing, economic development, finance, and public works/development services management. Perez’s accomplishments are built upon a strong foundation — her years of experience speak volumes regarding her keen understanding of local government and its purpose.

As assistant city manager, Perez provides support to the city manager while offering vivid insight and fresh eyes to the City’s many innovative programs and projects. A tenured member of the Antelope Valley, Perez prides herself on making and sustaining strong community-based business and neighborly connections.

Perez earned a master’s degree in criminal justice from California State University, Long Beach, as well as dual bachelor’s degrees in political science and criminology, law and society from the University of California, Irvine.

Her greatest joy and fulfillment derive from being the daughter of forward-thinking, risk-taking parents, the wife of Anthony, a 20-plus year member of the United States Air Force, and mother of their two children, Vincent and Isabella.

MICHAEL "MIKE" BEHEN, DEPUTY CITY MANAGER

Michael “Mike” Behen serves as the City’s Deputy City Manager. Mike was born and raised in the Antelope Valley and has been a City of Palmdale employee for 30-plus years. Mike is well versed in many areas of city government including planning, economic development, traffic/transportation planning, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), administration, and City Council and regional relations. Mike has stepped up on several occasions when key positions became vacant, and leadership was needed. At different times, he has been the City’s acting economic development manager, acting planning manager (twice), and acting economic and community development director (twice). He took on these duties while maintaining regular work assignments associated to his primary position.

Mike is a strong proponent of continuing education. He has an associate degree from Pasadena City College; a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from California State University, Northridge (CSUN);  a master’s degree in public administration from CSUN; and a 24-unit certificate from the University of California, Riverside in GIS. Mike has also completed Caltrans’ Resident Engineers Academy; American Public Works Institute operation and training management program; Commonwealth Centers for High Performance Organizations (HPO) program; and the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service leadership development program.

Mike is heavily involved in a wide range of regional planning matters. He was the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) North Los Angeles County subregional coordinator for over 10 years, and is currently the North County Transportation Coalition (NCTC) staff liaison for Palmdale’s elected officials. He is currently a board director for American Public Works Association (APWA) High Desert Branch, and a member of the Los Angeles Metro technical advisory committee (TAC) and Antelope Valley Edge (AV EDGE) transportation committee.

Mike has one son, who is a video game enthusiast and aspiring inventor.

Mike’s message to all people — Believe in you.